Can cats eat Greek yogurt? Is it different than normal yogurt for them? Does the flavor of yogurt cats eat make a difference? All these questions and more answered…
Is It Safe for Cats to Eat Yogurt?
You’ve probably heard that a lot of cats are lactose intolerant, right?
This is true. Kittens are able to digest lactose and feed off their mother’s milk for up to 8-10 weeks.
As cats get older and they no longer need milk they stop producing the enzyme that helps them to digest lactose.
This is why it’s not recommended you give your cat milk and other dairy products. Even though a bowl of milk or cream it something we associate with being some of a cat’s favorite treats.
But yogurt is a dairy product and has lactose in I hear you say….
Yes, this is true. But yogurt is a bit different, and there are many times of yogurt.
First of all, yogurt contains good bacterias which makes it easier to digest, and some have probiotics, which can help with digestive issues.
Furthermore, Greek yogurt in particular has around half the lactose of a full-fat yogurt. It’s also tastier if you ask me, and because of its creamier texture, plenty of cats agree.
The bottom line is this – Yogurt is not toxic to cats and not dangerous in small amounts.
Yogurts lower in lactose like Greek yogurts are the best types of yogurt to feed your cat in small amounts.
They can even help with some digestive issues, relieve the symptoms of diarrhea, and help loosen the stool and bowel movements for a constipated cat.
Is Greek Yogurt Lactose-Free?
I often hear people referring to Greek yogurt as lactose-free, which is why a lot of cat owners choose it over regular yogurt.
The fact is, Greek yogurt has less lactose than regular yogurt. But unless it’s specifically stated as being lactose-free, it’s not.
Greek yogurt goes through several straining processes which removes a lot of the whey and lactose to get its creamy and unique taste.
It typically has around half the lactose content of regular yogurt.
Is Yogurt Good for Cats?
Yogurts are tasty and healthy foods for us humans, but do the same rules apply to cats?
Some of the vitamins and minerals found in yogurts are also beneficial for cats. Magnesium, calcium, and potassium are all good for cats in small amounts.
These are minerals found and balanced out in their normal foods however, and it’s not necessary to boost them from yogurt.
It’s the good bacterias and living cultures found in yogurts that provides the most benefits to cats already enjoying a balanced diet.
So, Should You Feed Your Cat Greek Yogurt?
As I’ve discussed, there isn’t anything wrong with feeding your cat a little Greek yogurt. If they enjoy it, it’s a nice treat that they will love you for it.
Stick to plain unflavored Greek yogurts, and only give them small amounts on occasion or to help with one of the issues I covered above.
I’d say licking your yogurt pot when you’ve finished is more than enough, and it’s a fun way to share and bond with your kitty.
It’s completely safe in small amounts, and even a good idea to try giving them a little yogurt if they are constipated.
Just keep a close eye on your cat the first time they try Greek yogurt. If they have an upset stomach or show and ill-effects then you should assume they are allergic and add it to the banned list.
Some Other Commonly Asked Questions About Cats and Yogurt
Can Cats Eat Flavored Yogurt, Such as Vanilla, Strawberry, Cherry, Etc
I advise you always stick to plain, unflavored yogurt. Especially in the case of feeding your cat Greek yogurt.
Some of the more popular flavors of yogurt like strawberry and vanilla may taste like real strawberries or vanilla, but the reality is there are likely loads of flavorings and additives to give it this flavor.
Cats are much more interested in plain yogurt anyway in my experience. Although I’m sure you prefer flavored yogurt, I know I do.
So, in the case of sweet-toothed kitties, I recommend keeping flavored yogurts out of their reach. Just look at it like this, there is more bad than good to come from cats eating flavored yogurts.
Can Cats Eat Yogurt with Honey?
I’ve covered how much and what types of yogurt cats can eat in this article, but honey is a different story.
Cats should not eat honey, so the answer to yogurt with honey is also no. Just leave the honey out of it, it’s not toxic or anything like that but it’s too rich in sugar and high in calories to be suitable for cats.
Don’t panic if you find out your cat has liked a little honey. Or even if you’ve been giving them a little as an occasional treat, but switch to something else in the future is my advice.
Best Probiotic Yogurt for Cats?
I can’t say there is a ‘best’ when it comes to probiotic yogurts for cats. If you’re feeding your cat some yogurt then most lactose-free probiotic yogurts are going to be the same.
If you want to give your cat probiotics as a digestive aid however then I recommend using products specifically designed for cats. This is the ‘best’ option by far.
I recommend using a product like this one from Premo Probiotics. This product has been specifically formulated to help treat diarrhea, vomiting, hot spots, and other digestive issues.
Is Yogurt Good for Cats with Constipation?
If your cat is constipated there are some foods that can help provide some relief. Dairy products are known to help, so yes, yogurt can help soften their stool relieve the pain.
Other dairy products like sour cream, whipped cream, and milk can also help if they prefer these.
I recommend trying olive oil too, this is what I’ve used on a couple of occasions and it helped my cat poop within a couple of hours.
Is Yogurt Good for Cats with Diarrhea?
Giving a cat with diarrhea some yogurt to relieve the symptoms has been a home remedy I’ve heard about for years – but does it actually help?
Yes, it does and there is some science behind why yogurt helps cats with diarrhea.
Yogurt contains probiotics, which helps to relieve the symptoms of diarrhea, along with stomach cramps, gas, and other painful issues for your cat.
I always recommend lactose-free yogurt as most cats become lactose intolerant as they age, so it’s a safer option.
Related: If you’re wondering if cats can eat whipped cream I covered that here.
3 thoughts on “Can Cats Eat Greek Yogurt? (The Surprising Truth About Cats and Yogurts)”
What about LEVENEH. Strained non fat plain yogurt The liquid is strained out.
They semi clear liquid that is strained from regular yogurt to make it Greek style is called whey. as mentioned above in article, this is why Greek style yogurt is better for lactose intolerance.
Goat’s milk yogurt is even better as the proteins are larger and easier to digest. Greek style goat’s milk yogurt is going to be the best option.
Thank you for this informative article. My cat likes to lick the cup and spoon when I finish my yogurt and I wanted to make sure it was OK. She is a feral cat that adopted me . I would like to pose another question. She eats way to much, I think. She is getting quite a belly on her. But whenever her bowl is empty she makes sure I know it. I don’t want to see her hungry, but I don’t want her to have health problems due to being overweight. What do you suggest?